Animals from A to Z

Pardon me while I blow the layers of crusted over dust off Laresweb…Ok, that’s better. I ought to blog a bit about our son, Gabriel. The boy just turned 2 and the things he has learned and picked up on in the last couple of months are amazing.

Gabe knows all the letters of the alphabet by sight, both uppercase and lowercase. Although we have a couple of different alphabet books, we think the items that influenced him most were a set of flash cards we got for him before he was even beginning to talk. The flash cards each featured a letter with a word that begins with that letter. On the flip side was a photograph or rendering of what that word represents. Gabe preferred those flash cards over most of his other toys and books. Sadly, I accidentally left this set of flash cards on a plane in the seatback pocket in front of me, but they will be replaced soon.

One of the toys Gabe received for Christmas is an animal play mat with 26 animal figures, one for each letter of the alphabet. The play mat is electronic and pushing each letter audibly identifies the letter, the name of the animal, and the sound that animal makes. He was familiar with maybe 10 of the animals and their sounds before we got the play mat, but he didn’t know the sounds different types of birds made.

Within the past two weeks, he started pushing the play mat button that plays the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star featuring an animal sound at the end of each stanza. To my amazement, he began yelling out the name of the animal as he heard its sound in the song. This wasn’t trivial because, for instance, there are several different birds on the mat – flamingo, nightingale, ostrich, penguin, quail, vulture – with distinct sounds and he could distinguish each of them. The kid knew them better than I did as I had to play each one to verify that he was getting them right. I’m not exactly an ornithologist.

Heck, I didn’t even know what a urial was until I saw it on the mat. Gabe knows that a urial begins with U and makes a bleating sound. The boy taught me something and I’m sure it won’t be the first time.